Not lovin' it: Mixed reactions as McDonald's kicks off new 'Signs' campaign

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McDonald's: Campaign has had mixed reactions
McDonald's: Campaign has had mixed reactions

The fast-food chain's reminders of American tragedies have shocked some viewers

A new campaign for McDonald's has received a mixed reaction from consumers on social media.

The TV and social media campaign "Signs" aims to highlight the brand's community connections and kicked off on Sunday during the NFL and the Golden Globe Awards.

Created by Leo Burnett, the tear-jerking ad shows a range of McDonald's signs over the years emblazoned with community messages including "thank you veterans," "God protect the USA" and "we remember 9/11." It is supported by a social-media push including a Tumblr profile.

Designed to create emotional appeal, the ad is set to a tune sung by a children's choir. Consumers can click on the Tumblr page to discover the "story" behind each sign.

"Since the first McDonald's signs went up, local owners have been using them to say a lot more than just 'Billions Served,' " the brand said on the site.

"Over the years, in good times and in bad, you might have noticed the sign at your local McDonald's bearing a message from the heart. Whatever the message, there’s a story behind every one that captures a moment in time and reflects the lives of the community it serves."

While some consumers have celebrated the ads as "genius," others have lashed out at the ad as a cynical ploy, accusing the brand of being "vulgar," "crass" and "delusional".

McDonald's had not yet responded for requests to comment at the time of writing. Watch the ad below.

This article first appeared on marketingmagazine.co.uk.

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